In Response To Our Forecasted Triple Digit

In response to our foretasted triple digit heatwave for the next week I’ve dragged out the shade cloth and draped it over two tomato towers. I’ll be gardening under it and moving it wherever kneeling work can be done. If it gets too hot I’ve got a mist setting on my hose nozzle and will try suspending that above me. It’s no use telling a grampa gardener to “cowboy up”. That’s like flogging a dead horse. We see what stress does to our plants and want no part of it. The onions are under the cloth shade now getting harvested. I’ve waited patiently for the tops to fall over but I now need the space for a sixth planting of corn. The bulbs are fat, flat and 4″-5″ in diameter. 80% of the bulb is above ground so “ready or not here they come” 🙂

Fall pea planting time is only a few days away. There’s no need to erect any fancy trellis though, all you have to do is push two tomato towers in the ground, as far apart from each other as you want your pea row, and then run wire or twine between them every 8″ or so. I prefer using wire because it doesn’t sag under the weight of the full vines. It can be used over and over again and doesn’t deteriorate like twine. Putting a board over your planting will help you get good germination because the seeds like cool moist soil. After they germinate they would like a little water every day. After their roots get established they can probably go several days between waterings. Being that it’s Fall, the ground will be drying out faster than in the Spring, and the plants will be respirating more in order to stay cool , so you’d best keep a close eye on them.

Don’t forget to remove the twist tie that holds your tomato plants to the bamboo stake. I’ve almost girdled my main stem two years in a row now. It’s also a good time to check the bottom of your squash plant leaves for the squash bug eggs. They are so much easier to dispatch than the baby bugs. The babies move very quickly and hide very effectively. I can see a group of six, reach in and kill one, and the other five have disappeared. Pick your beans daily to continue getting young tender ones. I noticed that I had small curled beans on the end of one of my rows even though it was mulched like the rest of the row. Upon further inspection I found that my orbital sprinkler was not distributing water evenly from front to back. Last year I discovered it wasn’t distributing water left to right in an even manner. I think it may be time for me to start shopping for a better sprinkler.

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